By Ediberto Garza

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) 4,859,600 people were employed in retail in 2014.   These individuals provide a service, educating client on product knowledge, inform of any current promotion, and provide the best customer service possible.

 

Unfortunately, several companies have announced a significant drop in sales, which has led to several locations closing.  Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Sears have announced several location to be closed by 2017, leaving several of their employees unemployed.  What has caused this severe drop in sales? What is the reason for 1,000 employees to lose their jobs? As a manager of a high end retail store, concern for my employees and my career has risen.


Like all businesses, fluctuation is common in retail, hitting peaks and drops.  As management, we are obligated to understand traffic flow, and other challenges that effect business.

The retail store I currently work for has been in business for over 4 years, and slowly sales have decreased, yet over the past year and a half sales have plunged dramatically. Being located in a border town, we have many obstacles that affect us.  A great deal of our business comes from our foreign clientele.

 

Currently the peso value has decreased equaling 1 us dollar to 18.378 pesos, which has had an impact, yet one questioned baffled me. We do not solely rely on foreign clients, where have our local shoppers gone? Pushing for answers I contacted several clients to inform them of current collections, promotion, and lastly asked if they have visited our web page.

 

Few slowly admitted to shopping online, and commented, “They have bigger promotions and more options than you have in your store.”  With that information i began to research, and was a bit shocked to see the results.  New collection pieces had a 20% off on our web page, and few items I found with 40% off on other online shopping web pages. A great example would be Amazon.

 
United States Census documented that online shopping has over 7% of all retail sales. According to CNN, Macys will be closing 100 stores due to the rising success of Amazon.  Online shopping has become extremely convenient and accessible.

 

In a generation run by technology, we search the web to find the best deal for our dollar.  Online shopping provide great discount, multiple coupons, a larger variety, and the convenience to do it all without leaving the comfort of your home.  A trend that will continue to rise as technology simplifies our lives.  What is to become of retail and its employees?

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